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This page is for discussing the contents of Schools.

I (BradMandell) am developing an example for the equivalent of the Tags available on so many systems, like Flckr, Webshots, PBWiki, WikiDot, etc. We definitely could use such a taggiing system as a feature. Further, there are great ways to make Tag Clouds, which are very useful and user-friendly feature.

In the meantime, I am creating synonym, lower case RocWiki pages for the category Schools which each redirect to that page and allow the editor to use the synonym in the textual portion of an entry and create the equivalent of a tag. I use the lower case synonyms because it is less desirable to have a portion of the formal name as a link but can be used in the text. I will also do an example Tag Cloud of the example tags using one of the existing services, such as, which I use in other projects and recommend.

Based on the headers in the Schools page I created: college, university, public school, charter school, .. etc.

Each of the tag synonym pages has something like

Why lower case, some examples:

as opposed to the less desirable (but still possible):

or even making the whole title linked (again still possible) but that is confusing in that it does not link to itself which the text seems to suggest:

or imagine the following within a discussion page about colleges in the area

Compared to a possible equivalent Tag Macro (details of which I am unsure):

WORK IN PROGRESS - I will update this page as I complete more examples to demonstrate it.


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2007-09-26 11:25:00   I'm fine with folding in Magnet Schools. But I'd rather not have reduntant information (eg. a section on Magnet Schools, and a page on Magnet Schools). So perhaps we should remove the page on Magnet Schools and fix any links?

On the other hand, perhaps it's best to have a page for Magnet Schools. I think there are more than two, and perhaps someone would want to write an article on the history of Magnet Schools in the Rochester area? Perhaps I should have marked the page as a stub. —DavidHowe

2007-09-26 12:11:35   You make an interesting point. I have to ponder that one. It's a shame work demands so much of a person's attention! :) —DaveMahon

2008-09-16 22:10:42   A quick note on syntax: Links are case-insensitive, which means that ["Colleges"] leads to the exact same page as ["cOlLeGeS"]. Further, Wikipedia norms dictate that the bolded text not be used as links, which makes an awful lot of sense, in my opinion, so in reality, you're only left with the inconvenience of having to write ["Colleges" college], which is actually fairly rare, since avoiding that situation requires only careful wording: next to ["Monroe Community College"], one of the four-year ["colleges"] in Umpty Squat....

Don't get me wrong. I think tag clouds are a great idea, but as with handcoded breadcrumbs, they quickly become unmanageable unless the base software supports them. This version of Sycamore does not and I don't think our illustrious tech crew is all that excited by the prospect of migrating the site and its myriad weirdly formatted content to a new incompatible wiki engine that does. You are right in saying that macros could probably be written to support tagging, but it's easier said than done; can you point to a site that uses version control and tagging simultaneously? —DaveMahon

2008-09-16 22:48:04   I thought that the case was insensitive but there are tons of entries with the upper case in the link and then the lower case version of it afterwards plus the issue of many of the category pages have the plural form, which creates another barrier to quick categorization of the entries. For example, if I create a page called restaurant and redirect it to Restaurants, then all those ugly constructs are no longer needed and a few quick database query for the redirect with a tag in it along with a search for the page produces interesting and useful results (as does the LINK info Anyway down for the night just now —BradMandell

2008-09-16 23:13:23   How much does it matter that the code is slightly inelegant when the end user doesn't see it either way? I'm just worried that this could easily crowd the namespace of the wiki with a million variations with no added content but a lot more administrative overhead. As for the capitalization, that's a case of users (including myself at one point) who don't (or at least didn't) understand how Sycamore behaves.

And Sycamore stores every version of every page in one table, which means that the database can't tell which is the most current version of the page, which would add a great deal more overhead to page writes, detracting from the experience for contributors, but having no impact on non-contributing visitors, which seems counter-productive to me.

Again, I'm not trying to put your idea down, because I think it's a good one. I'm merely concerned about the implementation since the table structure for the tags would have to be something like:

tag article record id article title

Saving an article would require searching the table for the old article id, seeing if that tag still exists in the article text, and then updating the table with the new article id (to keep everything in sync) and title (obvious denormalization to maximize read performance) or deleting or inserting rows.

Also, did you know that Sycamore blocks two-level redirects? Whenever you do a rename, you always have to check to make sure that none of the linked from pages are redirects themselves. This is the unfortunate administrative overhead I mentioned. —DaveMahon

2008-09-17 07:13:59   Thanks for the update Dave, I will try to think it through at several levels and get back to you on it. I spent a number of years doing Oracle data base design and restructuring for performance and integrity issues on the DOD Nuclear Planning Data Base, dealing with normalization, etc. I used a lot of join tables to improve performance and reduce redundancy. I think I might need to take some time away from editing at some point and delve through the Moin Moin technical stuff. To this point I have simply taken the view of what would be easiest and most efficient from the contributor/editor perspective. —BradMandell

2018-02-27 10:29:31   Is there any way to add Nazareth Elementary to the list of Catholic schools please? —AmyPowers